Speaking at the Detroit motor show, Manley said the firm was watching the growing small SUV segment with interest.
“The growth rates of sales in the segment are very impressive, but we have yet to find a compelling case to do it,” he said. “Smaller cars are inevitably less capable - the laws of physics dictate that - and a level of capability is key to any Jeep product.
“Smaller cars are also harder to build profitably, especially if you are manufacturing them away from the home market. So there are some issues with the idea of a smaller Jeep than the Renegade.
“That said, the nearest rival would probably be the Fiat Panda Cross, which is incredibly capable for such a small car and which is enjoying a lot of success at the moment in some markets. So we have the know-how within the Group.”